Parents, beware of homemade infant formulas: Health Canada, doctors

WATCH: Should you stop making your own homemade infant formula? Health Canada thinks so. Minna Rhee reports.

TORONTO – Health Canada, the Dietitians of Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society are warning parents about the dangers of homemade infant formulas. While recipes for homemade baby formula are widely available online, the health officials say these mixtures could be harmful to your baby, potentially leading to malnutrition and even sickness.

“There have been cases of severe malnutrition from feeding infants alternative beverages instead of breast milk or commercial infant formula,” Dr. Jeff Critch, a Memorial University pediatrics professor, said in a joint statement by the organizations.

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Right now, Health Canada conducts safety and nutritional quality assessments on all infant formulas before they’re sold to consumers. Companies even need to provide scientific evidence that their products foster healthy growth in babies and don’t pose any risks to their health.

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Nutritional content, from energy, protein, fat and vitamin levels, are outlined in the process. The organizations say that homemade recipes don’t necessarily follow these guidelines.

Homemade infant formula may be touted as more “natural,” but the warning suggests that parents could be leaving their kids malnourished or putting them in harm’s way.

If you’re worried that your child needs a special formula, talk to your doctor, a registered dietitian or a registered nurse, the warning advises.

Read the Health Canada warning here.

Read the Dietitians of Canada/Canadian Paediatric Society warning here.

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